Gillmor leaving the Merc to found citizen journalism project

· The Power of Many

Quoting from “We the Media” Author Has New Venture at Personal Democracy Forum (by Micah L. Sifry):

The biggest news I have to report so far from Harvard’s “Votes, Bits and Bytes” conference is that Dan Gillmor–one of the first mainstream journalists to get the new dynamics of Internet-powered democracy–is quitting his job at the San Jose Mercury News to start a citizen-journalism project. (If, however, you’re a reader of Dan’s blog, you already know this.) Dan isn’t saying a lot about his new venture, as of yet. But he did tell me that “as the guy who kind of ‘wrote the book‘ on this, I couldn’t do otherwise.” He’s hoping to demonstrate to the burgeoning world of freelance bottom-up citizen-bloggers that some of the principles and practices of professional journalism have value, and that a useful synthesis can be created.

Giving up a technology column and blog at a daily paper, with all the perks and advantages that implies, is quite a gutsy move. But I think Dan is right to sense that big changes are underway, and that he can play a valuable role helping to nurture a new kind of journalistic ethic for all of us (not just the credentialed professionals), and that the best way to do that is by striking off on an independent path. Best of luck, Dan!